* A group founded by the Illinois Policy Institute…
The Liberty Justice Center is prepared to sue the Illinois Department of Revenue if the Senate’s latest budget proposal becomes law.
The Illinois Senate passed a series of tax hikes May 23 that would raise more than $5.4 billion in new tax revenue. In addition to increasing the personal income tax rate by 32 percent, the Senate bill would slap new taxes on services that previously were not taxed, including laundry and dry cleaning, storage, pest control, alarm systems, tattoos and piercings. It would also create new taxes on satellite TV and streaming services.
These new taxes on services, satellite TV, and streaming services aren’t just a nuisance; they are unlawful, according to attorneys at the Liberty Justice Center, a Chicago-based nonprofit law firm.
“The bill’s 1 percent tax on subscriptions to video entertainment violates the Internet Tax Freedom Act, a federal law that prohibits states from imposing taxes that discriminate against online commerce,” said Jeffrey Schwab, an attorney with the Liberty Justice Center. The bill’s 5 percent tax on satellite TV service – but not cable service – violates the Illinois Constitution’s Uniformity Clause, which requires the state to tax similar services at the same rate. And the bill’s tax on certain services – but not others – also violates the uniformity clause.
“If Senate Bill 9 becomes law, the Liberty Justice Center stands ready to immediately bring a lawsuit on taxpayers’ behalf to have these unlawful taxes struck down.”
These arguments are eerily similar to the Illinois Department of Revenue’s take on the Senate’s bill, even though the governor himself supports most of the bill’s components.